Sun beckons students outside

Brett Knapp

Spring has sprung at the University — finally.
After a winter that set records both for the depth of its chill and the length of its stay, students are flocking to Northrop Mall to frolic in the sun.
The recent string of sunny days that has pushed the mercury over the 60-degree mark has led to a frenzy of Mall activity as students seek to cram a quarter’s worth of spring activity into the last two weeks before finals.
Many students took advantage of the weather Wednesday to haul their books outside and study in the sun.
Amber Martin, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, has been studying outside all week, but the long winter frustrated her.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to study outside,” Martin said. “Spring was a little too slow in coming this year.”
But students don’t flock to the Mall just to hit the books. Others hang out on the grass to talk, pray or just lie in the sun.
Clusters of students dotted the Mall as they gathered to kick around hacky-sacks.
Some unfortunate participants fell prey to the sun’s rays, however, as shoulders accustomed to layers of winter clothing turned a bright shade of red.
Springtime on campus also means the return of bikers, in-line skaters and skateboarders.
Four skateboarders who were launching their boards off the steps in front of Vincent Hall saw their fun cut short as University Police officers patrolling on bikes asked them to stop.
Chris Dickie, a former University student, was one of the skateboarders whose freewheeling was abruptly ended. He said skateboarders get mixed messages as to whether they are allowed to skate on campus.
“(The officer) said, according to his supervisor, that anyone riding a skateboard today was to have it taken away — no questions asked,” Dickie said.
Dickie and his friends were allowed to keep their boards, however.
People who ride skateboards on campus want to enjoy the Mall, Dickie said. “There’s a weird attitude and feelings toward skaters,” Dickie said. “We’re not being punks. We just want to get out and get a little exercise and enjoy the outdoors like everyone else.”